Social Justice Committee is hosting the visit of United Families for Justice (FUJ): The union of independent agricultural workers on Tuesday March 27 in the evening between 6- 9 PM at the Unitarian Church. The collaborating sponsors are the 1st Unitarian Society’s SJC, The Tompkins County Workers Center and the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition.
United Families for Justice (FUJ)is an independent local farm worker labor union in Washington State, founded in 2013 in
Skagit County. The only labor union led by over 400 indigenous Mixteco and Triqui farmworkers. They labor in the industrial agricultural farms hand harvesting strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries as well as flower bulbs, cutting, broccoli, cauliflower, harvesting cucumbers and other agricultural tasks such as pruning and milking in dairies and greenhouses.
In 2016, FUJ led a successful boycott of Sakuma Berries, Driscoll’s Berries and Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream. The campaign ended on Sept 4 th with Familias Unidas por la Justicia and Sakuma Bros. Farm officially agreeing to an election and negotiation process for a collective bargaining agreement. For FUJ, this has been a long 3+ year struggle for farmworkers’ self-determination on issues of wages,housing and working conditions. The successes of FUJ were won through strikes,informational pickets, and solidarity that poured in from across the country, culminating in a historic vote by workers last September to formally recognize FUJ as its union. The hard-fought win, which came in the face of legal actions and other attempts by Sakuma to undermine workers’ efforts, allowed FUJ to negotiate a fair working contract, earning the union the title of 2017 Labor Rights Defenders from the ILRF.